Office of the Controller


The ISU Travel Department assists University departments by relaying information, explaining and interpreting travel policies and procedures, processing Travel Authorizations, processing Travel Reimbursements, and keeping accurate travel records. We will make our best effort to ensure that you will receive reimbursement for travel expenses within five working days from the time your complete and accurate Travel Reimbursement Request reaches the Office of the Controller.

Official University travel is defined as travel by University personnel, non-University personnel, and University students when the authorizing individuals consider such travel to be in the professional and/or business interest of both the traveler and the University. Such expenses may include transportation, lodging, subsistence, and registration fees. Travelers are expected to observe the University's policies and procedures in the type and amount of expenses incurred. In order for your reimbursement to be non-taxable, you must follow ISU's Accountable Plan Guidelines. ISU will only pay for travel that is properly authorized. University funds cannot be used for any travel that is not the ultimate responsibility of the University.

International Travel Warnings/Alerts: The Vice President of your area or Provost must review and approve faculty/staff/student travel to countries/areas for which the U.S. State Department has issued a Travel Warning or Alert (see U.S. Department of State Travel Alerts). Approvals will also be needed if the U.S. State Department issues a Travel Alert or Warning after the initial authorization was granted, but prior to the date of the actual trip. It is the responsibility of the traveler to get approval prior to departure. Please see the International Travel section below for additional information.

Visit the tabs below to learn more about the travel policies and procedures of the University.


Travel Checklists

Travel Checklists

All University travel must be approved in advance from their appropriate authorizing official- Department Chair, Administrator, Dean, Vice President, or President. A Travel Authorization form must be filled out for any travel to or from the University. All travel must be pre-approved on this form whether or not reimbursement will be requested. In most cases, prior authorization is required at least 3 weeks in advance of travel. This includes individuals visiting ISU (candidates, honoraria, consultants, etc.). Each individual traveler must complete the Travel Authorization Form.


  1. Traveler: Complete the Travel Authorization Form with travel details and estimates. Sign documents certifying travel is directly related to University business. All travel reimbursements are done through direct deposit. Please refer to the Direct Deposit page for more information.
  2. Department: Make sure funds are available within your travel budget to cover estimates. Retain copy of completed Travel Authorization form. Forward the form to authorizing official for approval.
  3. Authorizing Official(s): Sign the Travel Authorization form asserting that you are aware of the employee travel and that the associated costs appear reasonable. The highest level of authorization forwards to the Travel Account Specialist in the Office of the Controller after all signatures have been acquired. The Vice President’s signature is needed on all travel that equals $2,000 or more and on dean or department head travel. No one can sign to authorize their own travel except for the President of the University. Vice President travel requires the President’s signature.
  4. Controller’s Office: Travel Account Specialist processes the Travel Authorization, checking for appropriate estimates and authorizing signatures. Make sure adequate funds are available to cover the estimated expenditures and that travel is appropriate expenditure of University funds. Assigns proper account codes to travel estimates and indicates that the travel has been authorized and can be encumbered. After review by the Travel Account Specialist, the Travel Authorization is entered into the Banner system and funds are encumbered. If a Travel Authorizations is filled out incorrectly, incomplete, or does not have appropriate authorization, it is returned to the Department.
  5. Department/Traveler: Checks Banner to get Travel Authorization number and proceeds with making travel arrangements once funds are encumbered. The Travel Authorization number must be included on all travel documents processed that are associated with the original Travel Authorization form (Check Requests, Travel Reimbursement Requests, etc.). All travel documents will be returned to originating departments that do not have the TA number referenced. If using a preferred travel provider when booking airfare,car rental or lodging, give the TA number to the provider. The preferred travel providers cannot make a booking without a TA number.

During Travel:

Traveler: Get and keep original receipts for EVERYTHING including hotel/motel, taxi, parking, registration, etc. A credit card receipt is not an acceptable receipt or invoice if it is not itemized. Save all travel-related items including brochures, badges, itineraries, etc., until reimbursement has been processed and the reimbursement is received. ISU will only reimburse the standard room rate.

Within 30 Days After Trip:

  1. Traveler/Department: Complete a Travel Reimbursement Request Form if requesting reimbursement with attached original receipts.
  2. Authorizing Official(s): Sign the Travel Reimbursement Request form indicating approval of actual costs and forward to next level of authorization. Approved form is forwarded to the Travel Account Specialist in the Office of the Controller once all signatures are acquired. Vice President or designee signature required on all dean/department head travel and travel that equals $2,000 or more. No one can sign to authorize their own travel except for the President of the University. Vice President travel requires president signature.
  3. Controller’s Office: Process Travel Reimbursement Request, auditing actual cost and authorizing signatures. Assign proper account codes to travel expenditures based on the original Travel Authorization encumbrance. Return all Travel Reimbursement Requests to departments that are completed incorrectly, lack authorization, or do not have original receipts attached. Inputs Travel Reimbursement Request into Banner system to produce payment.

Travel Authorization Form

Travel Authorization Form (TA)

The Travel Authorization Form (TA) is a document that includes your business need, itinerary, and estimated travel expenses and it must be completed and approved prior to the start of all business travel. When approved, it places you in official “Travel Status” covered by University travel policies and eligible for potential reimbursement. If a TA is not processed prior to travel, the reimbursement must be paid through payroll and applicable taxes withheld. (Note: The TA form is an excel form, and information about completing each item on form can be found by holding your mouse pointer over the small red arrow in each field.)

Travel Authorizations are not required for official business travel that will not result in a reimbursement. Divisions, and/or departments should implement their own approval requirements that should include, at a minimum, verbal pre-approval by the traveler’s supervisor.

If you have questions about completing the Travel Authorization Form, please contact the Traveling Account Specialists at x3541.

Blanket Travel Authorization

Blanket Travel Authorizations (TA) should be used for employees whose primary job duties require travel on a routine and repeating basis and generally for similar activities, so that a department does not have to create a TA each time the individual travels. Multiple reimbursements can be filed against a blanket TA, making this option perfect for travelers who will have reoccurring travel related to their job. For example, if a requirement of you job is to travel to location around the state on a regular basis, then a blanket TA might be right for you.

Special Situations

Additional estimate of expense needs to be added to Travel Authorization prior to trip - If traveler knows ahead of time of an expense s/he will have prior to trip but after a Travel Authorization has been submitted, approved, and encumbered, and

  • the dollar amount of the expense is over $100- Prepare a Travel Addendum asking that the additional estimate be added to the encumbrance of the original TA. The original TA number should be referenced and all authorizing officials’ signatures obtained before forwarding to the Travel Account Specialists for additional encumbrance.
  • The dollar amount is less than $100- email the Travel Account Specialist at with the information regarding the additional expense.

Maximum Allowable for reimbursement - If the individual traveler has been issued a maximum dollar amount from their department head for a trip, then the Travel Authorization Form should not exceed that dollar amount. For example if the traveler is granted a $500 maximum toward a trip then the maximum dollar amount should be noted on the form and the Estimated Cost or Maximum Allowable Column should equal $500. The maximum allowable dollar amounts should be allocated in the following order: Registration Fees, Airfare or other mode of transportation, lodging, and then subsistence. If traveler requests reimbursement that exceeds the maximum dollar amount on the original TA, an addendum must accompany the Travel Reimbursement Form, signed by their vice president, authorizing payment to exceed the original maximum allowable.

Travel Expenditures that are not approved on the Travel Authorization prior to trip may not be reimbursed and are the responsibility of the traveler. If requesting reimbursement for an item that was not pre-authorized the traveler must ask for reimbursement via an addendum that references the original TA number and all authorizing signatures, and original receipts are required before reimbursement can be processed. This addendum should be attached to the travel reimbursement form.

Travel Without Authorization

Travel Without Authorization

The only instance that a TA is not required is when it is for business travel that will not result in a reimbursement, however departments should implement their own approval requirements that should include either a written or verbal pre-approval by the traveler’s supervisor.

If you choose to travel on ISU business without a TA, this is a concern for the University not only with regard to policy and procedure, but also for the sake of insurance and liability purposes. In accordance with IRS regulations, the University has an accountable plan that allows us to reimburse employees for authorized business expenses with no effect on taxable compensation. The accountable plan rules apply to all reimbursements to employees for authorized business expenses, both travel and non-travel related. If a Travel Authorization is not processed prior to travel, the reimbursement to the employee will be included in the employee’s wages, subject to tax withholding, and reported to the IRS.

Please note: If you choose to travel without a Travel Authorization, your request for reimbursement will go through Payroll on a One Time Only form. The following paperwork will need to be processed:

  1. One Time Only Form - Complete the form with your information regarding the trip. Use account code 66070. One time pay authorization guidelines and document flow can be found on the second page.
  2. Memo stating your reason for not following ISU Travel policy and procedure. This should be signed by you, your Department Head and Dean (if applicable).
  3. Travel Reimbursement Request (see Reimbursements section)- This is for auditing your travel costs only. Signatures are not necessary on this form.
  4. Attach all original receipts for travel costs to be reimbursed to the Travel Reimbursement Request form.

Once you have filled out all paperwork, attach everything to the One Time Only form and send according to the instructions provided.

Field Trips

Field Trips

A Travel Authorization form must be filled out and funds encumbered for travel, including travel for field trips. Undergraduate students do not need to process a Travel Authorization. A list of the names of the undergraduate students will need to be attached to the Travel Authorization of the ISU employee that is accompanying the students. All graduate students that are traveling will have to have their own Travel Authorization.

Review the information found on the Office of Risk Management site regarding field trip procedures and liability coverage before field trip arrangements are made.

International Travel

International Travel

Foreign travel is defined as travel to, between, or within countries 'outside' the United States and its territories and possessions, including Canada and Mexico. All foreign travel will be reimbursed using Federal Foreign Travel Reimbursement Rates (OCONUS). For travel outside the U.S. travelers should check the entry requirements for the specific country to which they are traveling. This information is available on the U.S. Department of State web site. In addition, the Vice President of your area or Provost must review and approve faculty/staff/student travel to countries/areas for which the U.S. State Department has issued a Travel Warning or Alert (see U.S. Department of State Travel Alerts). Approvals will also be needed if the U.S. State Department issues a Travel Alert or Warning after the initial authorization was granted, but prior to the date of the actual trip. it is the responsibility of the traveler to get approval prior to departure.

Additionally, the STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) is a free service provided by the U.S. Department of State which allows the traveler to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Benefits of this enrollment include receiving important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency and help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency. Indiana State University encourages all international travelers to enroll in this program.

Federally Funded Air Travel

When federal funds are used for international air tickets, travelers must comply with the Fly America Act. This act mandates that any foreign travel paid from federal funds, including foreign travelers coming to the U.S., must be accomplished through U.S. Flag Air Carriers. Please refer to the Fly America Act for more information.

Cash Advances for Foreign Travel

Travel Cash Advances are allowed for foreign travel. Money the University gives you in advance or after your trip will be paid in U.S. currency. You are responsible for exchanging those dollars for the currency of the foreign country you visit. Keep track of the exchange rates you receive as you travel (e.g., from Thomas Cook, a bank, hotel receipts, your notes on meal receipts, or even your AMEX bill). Complete your Travel Reimbursement Request (see Reimbursements section) when you return and document the source for the exchange rates. The Oanda 164 Currency Converter is a terrific resource, which converts currencies from today back to 1/1/90. Another source of rates is the "World Value of the Dollar" in each Monday edition of the Wall Street Journal.

To assist those travelling internationally, the Foreign Expense Worksheet is available. It can be used to record the expenses for each day of travel as well as track the dollar conversion for each expense.

Travel Account Codes

Travel Account Codes


Only budget for travel is to be recorded within this account code.

70500 - Travel Budget Pool


70580 - Registration


Professional development travel is designed to expose faculty and staff to developments in their fields and other areas of knowledge that may be utilized to improve our operations. This type of travel focuses primarily on attending conferences and other training opportunities. The following account codes are to be used when coding professional development travel:

70550 - Lodging, Per Diem

70600 - Airfare

70625 - Car Rental

70650 - Other Transportation (mileage, taxi, parking, bus, train, tolls, etc.)


Operational travel is defined as travel that your job requires in order to operate the University on a daily basis. Examples of this type of travel include the delivery of educational programs to off-campus locations and attendance at government meetings related to the operation of the University. The following account codes are to be used when coding operational travel expenditures:

70675 - Operational – Lodging, Per Diem

70685 - Operational – Transportation

70685 - Other Travel (parking, shuttles, baggage, misc.)


Student recruiting travel is targeted travel that is designed to promote student recruitment. The following account codes are to be used when coding strategic travel expenditures:

70670 - Student Recruitment


70850 - Field Trip Travel (Student traveling with faculty or alone, including field work)


70160 - Honorarium (speakers, consultants, etc.)

70560 – Athletic Recruitings

70615 - International Airfare

70630 - Enterprise Rent-A-Car Fuel

70750 - Team Travel (for athletic competition only)

70775 - Candidate Travel (for entertainment and travel expenses of candidates for employment)

70800 - Board Travel (to pay travel expenses of board members only)

Travel Newsletter Archive

Link Area


Holly Garrett
Travel Account Specialist
Ext. 3541

Trena Millsap
Travel Account Specialist
Ext. 3542